Let’s Sell The School Books

The bizarre schemes of politician’s and their rent seeking pals don’t get much stranger than what’s going on in Atlanta, where serious proposals are out there to directly use school funding to subsidize economic development in a depressed area around a sports stadium. The idea that the stadium might itself be a major factor holding back the development of the area comes up.

“Redevelopment around a sports venue can be tricky. Stadiums attract large crowds on an infrequent basis who stay for short periods of time and cause traffic congestion. That kind of activity cannot support neighboring businesses, and it can make living near a stadium a hassle.

“Sports venues alone are just big black holes that have the ability to depress the neighborhoods in which they’re in,” Stanford University economics professor Roger Noll told the trade magazine Retail Traffic.

Noll, the co-author of “Sports, Jobs and Taxes: the Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums,” said in an interview that for redevelopment to succeed, traffic has to be managed through mass transit and by providing multiple ways in and out.”

One major problem is the opposing needs of the team ( like a huge supply of parking) and the requirements of the community for density and walkable streets. The result is that contruction subsidies for the stadium are not the end, but the begining of the spending since more and more money needs to be spent to mitigate the stadiums “black hole effect” on the community. Replacing over 40 acres surface lots with garages is going to cost a bit.

Thanks for using my economic development tips.

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